Monday, October 25, 2010


It is a scary idea to not believe in God.  Or the idea of God, generally.  A lot of mostly secular believing type people maintain a propensity to believe in something grander, or more spiritual, or you know, religious--i.e. beyond human knowledge and beyond the knowable.  There must be something there, says the instinct, over and over, because, well, I just feel it to be true! Obviously there's no direct evidence for something there, which is why faith is so important.  But then again, the people I'm talking about, the casual God believers, do it because, I think, understanding the lack of God changes how they (or I, and yes, I'm maybe a casual God believer, at least right now, so am also examining and criticizing myself) act in the world--what they're culpable of, and importantly, how they hold onto mental/cognitive dissonance, particularly about their own actions and ideas.  Which is to say that, with the idea(l) of God, my moral compass tries to do a cost-benefit analysis of my actions as "Good" on a whole, so as to acquire membership in that wonderfully translucent concept of heaven, or, you know, whatever judgment befalls the casual God believers like me.  So long as we act in our capacity to do more harm than good, and to not intentionally inflict harm for no purpose, well, bingo, we're in.  I.e., we don't have to think about the consequences of our actions beyond a mainly selfish sphere.

So what am I struggling with here anyway?  Only that our actions, how we think about those actions as they relate to our identities, and those consequent identities, are in much more flux than we allow--not because they move around a lot, but because they might be radically different than we're telling ourselves.  And, if we get rid of the God idea, even the casual "I-don't-really-want-to-think-about-it" God idea, that radical difference presents itself rather rapidly, starting with your, or my, current behavior, which all of a sudden doesn't stand so straight and clean.  

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